There is one of those personal storage companies on a major road near to where I work. Its contribution to the passing community is a small tower the flashes the current time and temperature to cars passing by. Recently I was passing one hot afternoon, when my trusted www.bom.gov.au had told me Sydney was expecting a top of 28C. The temperature outside the storage company was 36C – clearly it gets hot in those storage sheds with all our unused stuff….but I had to admit that it did feel hotter in my garden than just high twenties. According the Australian Climate Commission, Sydney should only have about four days over 36C every year – but I think that when it is 36C where they are making the official readings it must be at least 40C out west (according to my friends who live in Western Sydney). So far this year in Sydney I think we are already past the four day mark.
The Australian Climate Commission just released a report that discusses the negative impact that Climate Change will have on our health. You can read the report here.
What should we expect?
The risks to human health from climate change include: injuries and fatalities related to heatwaves and other severe weather events; spread of some infectious diseases from rising temperatures and changes in rainfall; water and food contamination from rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and extreme events; exacerbated respiratory allergies from increased allergens (pollens and spores) in the air; exacerbated respiratory and heart diseases in response to increases in some air pollutants; mental health problems in those experiencing physical and economic impacts; and the health consequences of population dislocation as some regions become uninhabitable.